HarperCollins £16.99stg

Complex, gripping and wonderfully written, 'The Last Temptation' is the third Val McDermid book to feature profiler Dr Tony Hill. Coaxed out of retirement by DCI Carol Jordan, Hill is enlisted to help solve an international murder case.

Jordan dreams of becoming a Europol agent and only one person stands in her way: Tadeusz Radecki. Jordan, the spitting image of the human trafficker's dead girlfriend, finds herself dispatched in her first undercover operation to Germany, to work her charm and ensnare the dangerous German.

But Jordan's local police contact, Petra Becker of the criminal intelligence department, is facing her own dilemma. A close Dutch colleague is having difficulty solving the strange murder of an academic psychologist and enquires of her friend whether there are any similar cases in Germany.

Petra makes the link with three such cases but her Dutch friend had no right to divulge such sensitive information. How does Petra reveal the link and catch the killer without compromising her colleague? Having renewed contact with, and enlisted the help of, Dr Tony Hill for her undercover job, Jordan promises to coax him out of retirement to profile the killer in Petra's case.

Having had a professional acquaintance with one of the victims, and fearful for Carol's safety in her undercover job, Tony is only too happy to catch the first flight to Berlin. Are the two cases related and will Dr Hill deliver the goods in this race against time? In true McDermid style this story will keep you page turning until the end.

Joanne Ahern